(stream-of-consciousness Q and A)

[New? Start here: https://meditationstuff.wordpress.com/articles/]

[This is an unedited stream-of-consciousness response to a private communication, in regard to future conversations. Shared with permission.]

– Do you have an expanded version of your sense of what the different practice traditions are actually doing, like an elaboration of your comments about noting vs zen, dzogchen etc?

I could only handwave of the top of my head for this one. I do have a additional thoughts but not too much more. I haven’t taken these to end game. Only preliminary fiddling and and “peek” experiences to compare with end-game descriptions. But I can attempt to opine everything I do know/suspect. It’s not enough that I could even put in a blog post.

I haven’t thought about this super-hard in a while because I figured out what I wanted (nondual-ish plus everything left out by traditions) and I think Zen and Dzogchen are probably the best traditional ways way to get the former. I vaguely remember an Ingram paraphrase, like people tell him that he achieved “Mahayana?/Vajrayana?/Nondual [?????] results with Theravadin methods.” Something like that. Like, he has explored non-theravadin stuff, like see his reading list, and I think he’s tried a million different things, but he teaches from the theravadin toolkit (arguably re burmese innovations) and I think he considers it his heavy weaponry. Actual [F]reedom seems to be another (creepy) axis. See Ingram here on :


I think this guy may have tried to figure out some axes, too. I forget:


Again opportunity cost, but I found this helpful for extracting out the commonalities of burmese innovations [below], like what does noting actually do, what does it do it, what are the practical variations from teachers who’ve probably taught hundreds of students (at least second hand). I’ve forgotten most of my thoughts on this, though.


– So Ingram is sort of in the camp that meditating with attainments as a goal is a perfectly sensible thing to do, or perhaps the sensible thing to do. Do your goals differ and if so why?

The biggest “why” is because I don’t want to trigger psychosis, suicidal ideation, and permanent loss of neural function [and “depression”].

Also, both Ingram and Shinzen basically have repeated seizures, now. (They might vigorously disagree and qualify this if asked, and I would listen.) They blink out every so often, Ingram seeing patients at work, Shinzen while driving (IIRC)… And Ingram, at least, says this will happen to every serious (noting?) practitioner. I don’t know if he still claims this. In the zombie post below, see links to people who seem to have lost their working memory. I don’t know what Kenneth Folk/Vincent Horn would say about the blink-outs since they teach noting too, I believe.

The below are sort of unfocused, can ask me in person to extemp condense if too much reading. You may have read some of these.

Why I don’t want traditional stuff:





What I do want (not comprehensive; probably frame it differently now):



[ https://meditationstuff.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/what-rationality-actually-looks-like-from-the-inside-4500-words/ ]

[ Actually possibly this one most of all: https://meditationstuff.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/why-i-am-not-a-rationalist-or-integral-post-metaphysics-and-naturalism-and-the-myth-of-the-given-and-phenomenology-and-worldspaces-and-consent/ ]

– While I’m writing stuff, do you have a map of energy shit <-> endocrine shit written down anywhere?

I don’t. If I had to do this I myself would start by googling chakras endocrine glands. I think the noticeable effects are so small I never really bothered to precisely map it out. Like, when I activated chakras HARD, nothing reallllllllly happened. At all. For me. IIRC.

– I know you recommended a piece of math to off-the-cuff analyze study shiftiness and I never touched it, but […]’s mention of “studies…after 8 weeks” etc reminds me that we should really take a look at what has been studied, how plausibly meaningful it seems, and how good the work was.

I don’t think I have an off-the-cuff heuristic. Argh re digging through studies. The rat study took like an hour and that was casual and I didn’t even really closely read it. Let’s talk about goals for this. I mean I think we *should* but opportunity cost. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

– Have you ever written anything about what the breath does, apart from the general thoughts about it being on the boundary between autonomic and not, and the general uneasiness about some breathing/the Buteyko recommendation (which by the way I’d love to hear an elaboration on).

I think you got it all there. Ooh, I do have one other little buteyko crackpot rant, actually:


Oh actually I had another tone-deaf rant on twitter:


Would lengthily converse on any of the above.


Ok, have thoughts, would definitely go through papers at that level. I actually did something like this in grad school when I was writing (unpublished) review and intro stuff–as a first pass I would evolve a coding scheme, skim papers and start tagging them in a spreadsheet to get an initial rough feel of what was out there and how bad it was. It goes pretty fast and then you can slice and dice and cull (N=5?!) later.

Oh yeah Buteyko makes a million ridiculous claims. I assert, based on… personal experience… that there’s a partial, rather dramatic core of truth (isn’t that how it often works) depending on individual physiological regime and the rest is highly idiosyncratic per person (but they claim it for everyone) or complete BS. There has been at least one clinical trial(???) in the US, IIRC, for asthma. Ah:


My impression without reading is that it doesn’t improve lung capacity but it does improve asthma symptoms. I don’t think any other claim has been vetted.

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